Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Theremin Windchimes

  [vote for,

A set of windchimes, each chime of which has within itself a solid state Theremin (don’t know if such a thing exists, but this is a forum for half baked ideas). The audio signal is fed from each Theremin via the wires used to suspend the chimes. These are processed by a waterproof amplifier/ speaker combination, based on a shower radio but with multiple channels.

As the wind blows, each chime produces an eerie moan, which varies in intensity according to the proximity and movement of neighbouring chimes.

For the sake of World Peace, a volume control and headphone socket would be included on the amplifier.

Thanks to [hippo] and [bristolz] for inspiration.

egbert, Dec 01 2002

Inspiration Point http://www.halfbake...nt_20Dodgy_20Chimes
[egbert, Oct 17 2004]

So what's a Theremin, then? http://www.thereminworld.com/learn.asp
For the uninitiated. [egbert, Oct 17 2004]

Æolian harp http://users.argone...k/artlute/aeol.html
[hippo, Oct 17 2004]

How [hollajam]'s idea might sound http://www.rebel.ne...modulated_sines.mp3
[spidermother, May 08 2006]

...and how [egbert]'s idea might sound http://www.rebel.ne...remin_windchime.mp3
[spidermother, May 08 2006]

Cheap theremin kit http://www.madlab.org/kits/theremin.html
[wagster, Jul 05 2006]

Windchimes http://www.windchim...tid=exact&lp=wchime
To go with above link. [wagster, Jul 05 2006]

(?) Slowed down water trickling sounds http://www.rebel.ne...ds/water(2.1.1).mp3
[spidermother, Oct 27 2006]

Additive synthesis http://en.wikipedia.../Additive_synthesis
Building a tone from harmonically related sine waves. [BunsenHoneydew, Dec 30 2012]

Gratuitous somewhat vaguely related idea... Bubble_20Blowing_20Wind_20Chimes
It would be cool to have both features... [normzone, Dec 30 2012]


       Hang them on the porch of your castle, Mr. Mad Scientist, and you will always have the right mood set for unexpected visitors.
krelnik, Dec 01 2002

       I hate wind chimes. Just for a wind chime with a volume control, you get a croissant. For the lack of "ding-blingle-dong-jangly" stuff, and for the spooky sounds... I regret that I have but one pastry to give.
lurch, Dec 01 2002

       This is much too good to get buried so quickly...
RayfordSteele, Dec 01 2002

       Thank you. Keep churning, then.
egbert, Dec 02 2002

       Very good. Nearly as good as HSDC...
hippo, Dec 02 2002

       You could use the feedback effects you get from speakers in proxiity to microphones.   

       Though I'd like to see free-standing wind chimes that moaned in proximity to passersby. Just missed Halloween, but perfect for next year's holiday. [Hm...Halloween as a holiday - now's there's an oxymoron for you.]
Nick@Nite, Dec 02 2002

       You can wire the theremin to respond to about whatever stimulus you want. There are schematics for photoresistor controlled theremin circuits out on the web. That's sufficiently generic that you should be able to extrapolate reasonably to lots of things. I do agree that it probably wouldn't be good for them to trigger each other, unless they are quite long to slow down the pendulum motion.   

       If the circuit generates a nice clean sine wave, it shouldn't have an unpleasant sound.
lurch, Dec 02 2002

       egbert, since you're already set up for micro processing, I think it would be fun to have an additional chord filtering application "option". The technology that exists for eliminating vocals on music tracks could be used here to isolate the notes heard to those of a determined key. The key signature could be established by the first windchime note detected at the commencement of the program. Key changes could be done in the same manner at predetermined intervals. The total number of varying chords could be selected as well as the length of Intervals between chord changes.   

       This would define primitive musical phrases or such. Results would be better having at least one full octave of chimes if not two or even more. The program could incorporate even more parameters of music theory. I think of it like a paint program but for "random sound", thus producing a unique low to medium "resolution" piece of music.   

       Imagine the sound of this moderated random "music" as done by a skilled composer tweaking the settings of a dozen or more of your windchimes dispersed through trees in a wooded parkland area. Wow.   

       Windchime voices themselves could be optional from such sounds as the hollow percussion of bamboo tones, to bird chirps. I'm sure my attempt to describe this could be done better by any 'baker with more musical experience and sound design than I.
hollajam, Dec 03 2002

       [lurch], thanks for that, I'm not a Theremin expert (in fact I didn't know what it was called until I came here) and I've been trying to find out a bit on the web. Does the playing surface need to be flat, or can it be tubular? And why do some of them have an antenna?   

       I envisaged these tubes as being quite large to have a long period, so that the effect would be a low moaning wail rather than a series of skittish chirps.   

       [hj], I like your variation. I can just hear what they would sound like set to a Gregorian scale, each individual note held in pitch but rising and falling in intensity as the wind stirs. Wouldn't go so well with a gusty day - maybe the scale chosen could be adjusted to suit the weather patterns?
egbert, Dec 03 2002

       I don't know why, but this idea make me think of "Æolian Harp Fencing Panels" - a fence which produces eerie noises in your garden in the right wind conditions (see link for æolian harp).
hippo, Dec 03 2002

       theremins have always been super cool. i'd buy one of these.
glick84, Mar 31 2004

       I can imagine the sound now, and it's a damn sight better than the ones I can usually hear.
Detly, Mar 31 2004

       [hollajam]'s idea might sound a bit like this (link).
(later) I've added a simulation of [egbert]'s idea too.
spidermother, May 08 2006

       Ahem... I wanted to make sure my pastry was recovered and securely affixed; sure enough, it is. Lonely, though.
lurch, May 09 2006

       I'll help.
Letsbuildafort, May 09 2006

       [spidermother], that's eerily similar to what I had in mind. Thank you.
egbert, Jul 05 2006

       Glad to be of service.   

       The harmonic structure of the first sound is based on one of Purcell's viol sonatas. [hollajam] refers to a //skilled composer//, and I don't think you get much better than Purcell, whose harmonies make me weak at the knees. Although obviously he was tweaking the settings retrospectively in advance, so to speak. Although I'm not quite sure what a Gregorian scale is, the pure intervals I used are related to how Gregorian chant is sung.   

       The sounds do consist of nearly pure sine waves, as suggested by Lurch. This is kinder on the ear, in the case where the pitches vary at random, since harmonically rich sounds when not in harmonic relation to each other produce a far stronger sensation of discord than do pure sines.   

       By the way, I went and sat by a babbling stream a few weeks ago. I only just now made the association, but in both cases you have fairly pure tones whose pitch and volume vary in a partly random way. If I find a way to lug my recording gear up there, I might try slowing the sound down. Might be interesting.
spidermother, Jul 05 2006

       I have provided two links - to cheap theremin circuits and cheap windchimes. Let's have a race to build the thing.   

wagster, Jul 05 2006

       spidermother did you ever do the stream recording? Can we hear it if you did? It sounds like it would sound beautiful.
cetacean, Oct 27 2006

       [cetacean] Linky!
spidermother, Oct 27 2006

       [spidermother] thanks! That sounds really interesting. I'm new to this site, I'm a sound collector :-) I like to build strange music from found sounds so I'm always looking for ways to make interesting sounds. One idea I had a while ago was to have a real time music show in a forest and sample sounds and mix them in with one another in interesting ways from the forset istelf, as the forest made them and play them back (adding musical bits and pieces of your own)so it was like a musical conversation with the surrounding environment.
cetacean, Oct 29 2006

       Sounds like a halfbaked idea there, [cetacean]. <nudge>
Shz, Oct 29 2006

       This is great.   

       I would suggest tuning each hanger to a different frequency, and using a proximity sensor for the distance from each hanger to the central "clapper". The frequencies could be arranged into chords, or in harmonic relationships (as in additive synthesis [link]). The distance to the clapper sets the volume of each tone. The structure of the resulting chord or note would subtly change as the hangers swing in the breeze.
BunsenHoneydew, Dec 30 2012

doctorremulac3, Dec 30 2012


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